Regaining control of Canada’s energy

Canada gave up control of its energy sector in NAFTA. The “proportionality clause” of NAFTA obligates Canada to maintain a fixed share of energy exports to the U.S. The more Canada exports, the more Canada is obliged to export.

This has led to a dramatic increase in energy exports to the U.S., accelerating the depletion of Canada’s conventional oil. It has meant exponential growth in the water-destructive tar sands and has facilitated the trade in environmentally dangerous fossil fuels.

This NAFTA rule has compromised Canada’s energy security because it has restricted Canada’s legal capacity to regulate the extraction and trade in tar sands oil. It has also made it harder for Canada to protect water.

If there was ever an energy shortage, or environmental concerns that meant we wanted to cut back on energy production, under NAFTA we can’t eliminate or scale back our exports to the U.S. even to meet our own domestic needs.